12: Friends of the dead

“Did you think you were the only one with a guide?” screamed Heresy from atop of Eudemonia’s shoulders.

Eudemonia had tears in his eyes. With a single drop falling down his cheek and landing on the valley’s floor, it could have filled a lake. She wasn’t the only one going through a journey here. Some how her heart was heavy now, she was happy that her companions had rejoined her, but somehow she missed something. It was so cold now. She could hear the beep beep beep of the machines around her as she tried so hard to speak. It was dark in her head, but she could feel the light all around her, along with the voices of strangers and those familiar to her. “Is she going to make it?” asked a voice resembling that of her father’s. There was a response, but it was blurred by the BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEEEP BEEE-.

No matter what had happened to her in life, this was her now. Dealing with the choices she had made in a place and time where everything mattered in ways that were weightless now. The sky was a bright orange now. Breathing down to her a sense of relief along with regret and questions that weren’t worth answering. But still the two strangers approached. One smiling, the other trying to hide his misery. All the while marching closer to her, followed by an enormous stone.

The grey of the valley behind her was halted only by the cliff she had already conquered. Turning she could see the blue light that lay ahead. It was so close now. But still far enough way to only be a light. Flickering and dancing across the horizon, in between two infinite cliffs. Whatever the light was, it calmed her. “haven’t you ever lit a firecracker?” asked the little boy staring at her from behind matted brown hair in a corn field far away from the world. She shrugged, staring at him, entranced with his actions. “It’s fun, just take the match and-” he struck the match against a rock and lit the fuse to a bottle rocket and the two of them watched it soar far far above and explode. Nothing fancy, but she remembered how amazing this adventurous boy was. Finally rejoining her, Eudemonia’s gaze fell upon her. His hollow eyes seeing through the superficial body she had created here.

“No matter what you have done, It is you who has to finish this journey.” He said, staring past her, deep enough to see what was beneath the gothic women with no mouth to speak of. Deeper, to the lost little girl who missed her family and was still grasping the meaning to all the actions her life had had. There was no forgiveness here, no redemption. This was a place of acceptance. Nodding at her and still smiling, Heresy smacked the shoulder of their giant and lunged forward, almost toppling off the shoulder of Eudemonia, pointing forward, at the shimmering blue light beneath an orange sky, surrounded by enormous dark cliffs all around.